Last week, our staff had the opportunity to enjoy some time together as part of the Edvance Annual Gathering. The theme this year was on hospitality. Our guest speaker, Dr. David Smith from Calvin University, went through the Biblical basis for hospitality and reflected on its implications for our curriculum, classrooms, and our schools. Here are a few thoughts that stuck with me that I would love to share with you:
- One of the first stories of hospitality that we read about is found in Genesis 18. Abraham meets strangers and hurries to provide them a welcome. Rather than acting out of fear, he runs to give hospitality and not miss an opportunity to host. In turn, God speaks through the strangers (guests) and provides a blessing to Abraham.
- In the New Testament, Jesus, along with the Apostles, speaks of the importance of welcoming others, particularly those who are strangers and those who cannot repay our welcome. There is an emphasis on doing these things out of love for our neighbour and for the Lord (Matthew 25). We are called to treat all people as valuable and worthy of being welcomed guests.
- As a society, we often make hosting more about how well the host can cook or be a homemaker, rather than about how the guest can feel welcomed and appreciated. Even as a guest, we can fall into the trap of making ourselves appear important or distinguished. In Luke 14, Jesus encourages us to check our hearts and approach these situations from a place of humility.
- As we continue to reflect on this topic, we desire to apply this to our Trinity community to ensure that all of our students, parents, and guests that we interact with feel that this is a place of welcome and love.
In closing, here are the words of John Calvin that capture what we are trying to express: “We are not to reflect on the wickedness of men but to look to the image of God in them, an image which, covering and obliterating their faults, an image which, by its beauty and dignity, should allure us to love and embrace them.”
J-D Lussier, Principal